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Paperback The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity Book

ISBN: 0812991761

ISBN13: 9780812991765

The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

An informative and inspiring guide to rebounding from childhood hardships to find uncommon strength and courage " The Resilient Self reminds us all of the importance of being aware of and building on the strengths of our young people, whatever their early life experiences. We must work to give them hope and to craft services and programs that are respectful of the resiliencies so thoughtfully characterized by the Wolins. This guide, although based...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Useful Toolkit for Dealing with Life's Challenges

Although written several years ago, this remains a valuable book for anyone who has or is facing adversity. Interestingly, many of the ideas in the book, which were based on a great deal of clinical observation, have actually been born out by empirical research. One of the least helpful ideas that entered the mainstream of pop psychology was the notion that we are robots who can be programmed to behave dysfunctionally by adverse life events. That simple notion missed the fact that many people who have had awful life experiences turn out just fine, and others who seemed to enjoy every advantage have developed enormous problems. The fact is that we are a composite of our genes and our life experiences. And the genes in the brain do not so much determine our behavior, as predispose us to how we react to the environment. There is also increasing evidence that mental states may impact gene expression. So positive thoughts and emotions may be able to overcome or ameliorate the impact of negative experiences. Enter the notion of resilience, which has a genetic component, but can also be learned. This book revolves around the idea that triumph over adversity involves seven key components: 1. Insight 2. Independence 3. Robust relationships 4. Initiative 5. Creativity 6. Humor 7. Morality Each chapter is loaded with evaluations and advice on strengthening these key characteristics. The model deals only with psychological resilience, with a few nods toward physical and spiritual resilience. Warmly recommended.


This was a tremendously helpful book! Steven and Sybil Wolin have done a remarkable job here. I could not believe how much they knew about how I was feeling. It was as if they where there doing therapy with me.In the book, they discuss seven "Resiliencies" that survivors instinctively use to get through difficult childhoods. Then they use "reframing" to show you an amazing transition from "feeling damaged" to "Survivor's Pride". Extremely therapeutic!Overall, this is an extremely effective self-help book, and it is an easy read. I would definitely recommend it to everyone who has had a rocky childhood. I easily give this book five stars.

A fly on the wall

I am reading this book on the advice of my counselor. I checked it out of the library first because I didn't want to buy it if I didn't like it. When I found myself wanting to write in and highlight the passages of the library's copy, I knew I needed a copy of my own. The Resilient Self is singularly the most difficult book to read that I own. I read a chapter and put it down for a while. The thing that makes it difficult is that Dr. Wolin seems to see right through me. I think he was a fly on the wall at home in my family of origin. How could he possibly know what happened to me and how I feel about it unless he was there? I like the book because it tells me that it is not me that is flawed. I have strength and character of my own, something my counselor has been trying to tell me for five months. I also learned that there is no such thing as a perfect family. They all have troubles and challenges to overcome. We do the best we can with what we have. My advice: if you think your family of origin had problems, read this book.

Stop calling me damaged!

As a professional who works with young adults who have survived challenging childhoods, and as an adult who has experienced these challenges, I can only say, "Bravo!" We've all heard quite enough about the damage done, and not near enough about our incredibly well honed survival skills - what the Wolins named "resiliencies". The resilience model gives us a language to use; naming the resiliencies evidenced by a young person is incredibly powerful. Reveiwing my own childhood through this lense is an affirmation and an honor to the child I was and the adult I have grown to be.

And you thought you had problems?

Resilient Self focuses on case histories (all fascinating)of people who came from devastating childhoods, and yet are now leading happy and productive lives. The best part of this book is that the Wolins (husband and wife team)also point out what these people did to change their lives around, that you can apply to your own life. This book is the most uplifting book that I have read. I've loaned it to most of my friends who are trying futiley to change their lives despite a crazy childhood. It is excellent and a fast read. Oh, by the way, the authors' suggestions really work!
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